Verbatim Transcription in Qualitative Research

“And would you like non-verbatim or verbatim transcription” is one of the questions we ask every client during the quoting stage to eliminate any formatting related confusion later on.

Unfortunately, a lot of clients don’t understand what verbatim transcription is, or how it differs from non-verbatim and edited transcripts.

If you’ve landed on this page hoping to understand more on this topic, we hope this post will be helpful.

What is Verbatim Transcription?

While there are plenty of voice recognition software and services on the internet, unfortunately there is no verbatim transcription software…..yet.

It’s still done best by humans.  We’ll explain why. 

In simple terms, verbatim transcription is where you type every single word/sound uttered by every speaker in an audio recording.  Which includes all kinds of non-verbal nods like “um, uh, mm hmm” and filler words like “like, you know, kind of” etc. along with all repeated words and sentences.

Why Does Verbatim Transcription Take Longer?

Verbatim transcription can add considerable time to the total turnaround time for a transcription project, and a transcription company may charge extra for it. 

Why does it add extra time?  We simply can’t ignore all the extra words like we usually do with normal or non-verbatim transcription.

We’d say about 90% of our clients don’t require verbatim transcription.  So, our transcription team are conditioned to ignore non-verbal nods, filler words and repeated sentences and words as they’re typing.  Same goes for quality analysts as they’re proofreading those transcripts.

Hence, they need to concentrate harder to make sure they don’t miss anything.  This increases the difficulty level and adds more time.

Types of Verbatim Transcription

Pure/Strict Verbatim Transcription

This includes:

  • Every non-verbal utterance
  • Stuttering and Stammering
  • Filler Words
  • Repeated Words
  • Repeated Sentences
  • Non-verbal nods like “yeah” and “um hmm” etc.
  • Labeling of laughter, chuckles, clearing throat etc.

The use of strict verbatim transcription has become a common strategy for data management in research.  It’s important for the analysis and interpretation of verbal data which has become hugely beneficial, especially for healthcare research.  But most of the interviews are used to collect information for a wide range of purposes, not just healthcare.

On top of qualitative research, there’s been a significant increase in mixed-method inquiries.  Hence, verbatim transcription plays a key role in the data analysis phase of data management.

Edited/Partial/Semi Verbatim Transcription

This is left up to the transcriber or QA’s discretion on whether they want to include all verbal nods like “um, uh, huh, hmm” and filler words like “you know” etc. The client may also not want repeated words and sentences.  This is done to not break the natural flow of the conversation.

You may also call it modified or tailor-made verbatim transcription.

Non-Verbatim/Clean Transcription

This is the default mode for most transcription services online.  So, if you haven’t specified any formatting beforehand, you will receive non-verbatim transcripts.

These transcripts won’t have non-verbal nods and repeated words and sentences, along with non-verbal nods like “Yeah” or “Okay” (unless it’s a reply to a closed-ended question) to avoid breaking the flow of conversation.  It may include some, but not all “you knows”.  The transcriber or QA will decide this, because oftentimes participants have a tendency to use too many “you knows” while talking.

How to Choose the Best Verbatim Transcription Services?

Word of Mouth

If your friends or colleagues had an amazing experience with an online transcription service, by all means go for it.  Yes, I know this means there’s a chance your friends may recommend one of our rivals.  But we want to give you the best advice possible even if you don’t use our verbatim transcription service.

Testimonials & Reviews

youtube video transcription, trustpilot reviews

Reviews and testimonials tell a lot about a transcription company’s reputation.  And may give you subtle hints about their customer service, terms & conditions, procedures and attention to detail.  For example, ScriptoSphere is rated excellent on Trustpilot with 100% 5-star reviews and a TrustScore of 9.3/10.

Read our Reviews on Trustpilot

Click here to read client testimonials on our website.

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

verbatim transcription, straight from the horse's mouth

If you spot a colleague from the same university as yours on our testimonials page and Trustpilot reviews, one of the best ways to get confirmation is straight from the horse’s mouth.  Your university should be able to point you in the right direction for you to contact them yourself.  We are confident that every single one of our clients in the last 10 years will have nothing but the best things to say about us.

Ask for a Sample Transcript

Whichever transcription service you choose, either ask for a free trial transcript or a sample transcript.

Below are samples of how a transcript may look like for different types of verbatim transcription (if done by ScriptoSphere):

Now, uh, my point of all this is that, that um, you know, sometimes the business that we bring to you, um, [clears throat] here as part of this meeting is really, um, important to company, it can’t be done, uh, any other way, because — because it requires the engagement of the stockholders, um, but it can be boring, you know. So, uh, we’re going to get, uh, right at this one, and see, um, if we can get through this, uh, in a straightforward way. Okay, uh, so — so Mike mentioned, um, our competitive board. You will recall that last year, uh, in my presentation, um, I described for the — for the first time this initiative that, uh, you know, the board had of restructuring the board, so that, um, we could add — add more outside expertise.

Now, my point of all this is that, you know, sometimes the business that we bring to you here as part of this meeting is really, um, important to company, it can’t be done any other way, because it requires the engagement of the stockholders, um, but it can be boring, you know. So, we’re going to get right at this one, and see if we can get through this in a straightforward way. Okay, so Mike mentioned our competitive board.  You will recall that last year in my presentation, um, I described for the — for the first time this initiative that, you know, the board had of restructuring the board, so that we could add — add more outside expertise.

Now, my point of all this is that sometimes the business that we bring to you here as part of this meeting is really important to company, it can’t be done any other way, because it requires the engagement of the stockholders, but it can be boring. So, we’re going to get right at this one, and see if we can get through this in a straightforward way. Okay, so Mike mentioned our competitive board. You will recall that last year, in my presentation, I described for the first time this initiative that the board had of restructuring the board, so that we could add more outside expertise.

Ask for Quality Analysis

verbatim transcription

It’s better if two people sign off on the final document compared to just one.

Furthermore, verbatim transcription rates should include cost of quality analysis (or proofreading) as well.  So, pay extra attention to what’s in the fine print.  Because oftentimes your quote may include transcription only, and not transcription + proofreading.  If you receive a transcript with errors, you will have to spend your own time cleaning that up.

That’s the case with a lot of transcription software companies on the internet.  While it’s dirt cheap to run your audio file through their AI, you will have to spend time doing most of the clean up.

At ScriptoSphere, our quality analysts give every transcript a final and thorough review to make sure it fits your desired standard of quality.  We have the latest project and quality management practices in place to assure we get as close to 99% accuracy as humanly possible.  And we do that no extra charge.  All you have to do is specify verbatim transcription or non-verbatim at the time of assignment.

2018-12-19T19:15:27+00:00December 18th, 2018|Audio Transcription, Transcription Service|0 Comments

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